Block 191: September 3, 2013



The three day weekend is over, and I don’t know what’s going on today for work.

Date: September 3, 2013

Crane: 191

Days Spent on Project: 198

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: I had to bust out my old notebooks from London to remember some names this morning…

I’m only partially sure of this.

One of the more successful classes I had in London was simply called “Shakespeare.” We spent the semester going through A Winter’s Tale, one of his plays that I hadn’t come across yet. I feel like it’s one of the more genius ones.

Our teacher was Ed. He had a wild mane of curly thick hair. He wore Caterpillar boots, worn out jeans, t-shirts, and a flannel shirt most days. I’m convinced that we all in that class loved him, idolized him. He was the kind of guy who would start out discussing a work with us, asking questions and wanting to know what was happening in the text, and then finish by running around, playing games, trying to establish status and the world and characters and behavior and a framework.

Kenyon’s way of dealing with verse (like in Shakespeare) was to ask us, as students, to rewrite the text in prose. We were told to lose the idea of the poetry, lose the visual of how it appeared on the page, how it was spaced and punctuated and noted. In London, this was the first time I was told really to embrace every little detail, take into account the true iambic pentameter and use that or create my own emphasis, take into account what punctuation was used and when, take into account how my breathing was actually written into the script.

It was a kind a everyday lesson that seems completely obvious to me now but, in hindsight, was ground-breaking.

And, so for reasons like this, even though I no longer act, I am so incredibly thankful for the time in London for the exposure to this kind of teaching and experience: learning that the people I looked up to back in Gambier were only teaching me a part of the process, just a small fraction of the overall recipe that is performance. It was my job to seek out the rest of the ingredients. It was my job to take as many ingredients as possible and mix them together in a way that worked for me.

Theater, acting and design, really is about playing around to taste, you know?

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’m listening to really old jazz and spirituals. Back to obsessing over that Ken Burns documentary, Jazz.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So, remember when I started this project back in February, I was hoping this project would allow me time to meditate daily on treating myself better and respecting myself more?

And how, at the time, it took a bit of effort?

It was hard for me to decide what fabric to use, how to place the pieces, I really had to think about how each piece when together, and how to sew them exactly right.

It seems, after 198 days, I’ve had a small realization that it’s no longer that difficult. The hardest part of choosing fabric is telling myself not to use the same combination daily. Cutting out the pieces is still a process, but now there’s an order to it, and I’ve figured out how to place them so I don’t waste any more fabric than I need to. I know how to pin things together so corners match up and go together easily (or somewhat easily).

After 198 days, I’m beginning to understand that it doesn’t take any more effort or work to treat yourself well or to respect yourself than it does to be lazy or wallow in self-esteem or fester on the negative. In fact, it might be easier to simply live in the moment. It might be easier to do that than be negative.

The most effort comes with making the decision: I’m going to be okay today. And after making that choice, it’s kinda easy to go along with it.

Not to say that I don’t still miss sleep, that I don’t worry about what I’m doing or whether I’m good enough to do this or if I’m really a burden on other people. I’m human, I still do. But after 198 days, I feel like it’s not my go-to feeling anymore.

And that’s good. It actually feels great.

Now i just have to figure out what I’m doing today, which project I’m working on, and where I’m going.

Like you do.


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